Finance Property Rentals out of reach for majority of low-paid workers

Rentals out of reach for majority of low-paid workers

rental agreement
And a whopping 96 per cent of rentals are unaffordable for welfare recipients. Photo: Getty
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Australians on government support payments can only afford 6 per cent of rental properties, analysis by Anglicare shows.

Taking a snapshot of the more than 67,000 rental properties available across Australia on March 24, the advocacy group found only 3729 were affordable for households on government income support payments.

The number grew for minimum wage earners, but still only represented 28 per cent or 18,976 of available rentals.

“These results show that finding an affordable and suitable home to rent in the private market is extraordinarily challenging,” the Anglicare report released on Monday says.

For single people on the aged pension there was just over one per cent of properties suitable and for those on the Disability Support Pension 485 rentals were affordable.

There wasn’t one rental property affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth on the specific day in March.

Anglicare wants negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions targeted at new builds and social housing, believing the tweak could save billions which could go towards affordable rental housing for those in need.

It is also calling for a boost in Commonwealth Rent Assistance and changes to state and territory laws regarding renter rights.

The group calculates affordability on the premise rent needs to be no more than 30 per cent of a household budget.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the government was taking action to boost housing supply across states and territories, while also providing tax cuts to those saving to buy their first homes.

Mr Morrison also pointed to recently-passed legislation underpinning a national housing and homeless deal, which locks in funding for the sector.

“The government has not sat idly when it comes to this issue,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“I think we have been able to turn a lot of this around, but I know it’s still tough.”

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